To bring to life the dead space between fall Jewish holidays and winter Jewish holidays: The Gingerbread Golem.
A patty-cake version of the legendary creature that was shaped from clay by Rabbi Loew of Prague. My Gingerbread Golem has been patted, pricked and marked—not with a “B”, but with the three Hebrew letters aleph, mem, and tav, which spell EMET (“truth”): the magic word written on the golem’s foreheard, bringing it to life.
To deactivate his creature, Rabbi Loew erased the aleph, leaving the two letters that spell MET (“dead”)…
…but I can think of a better way to get rid of the aleph on a Gingerbread Golem.
Good golem story for kids: Golem, by David Wisniewski (a Caldecott-winning picture book).
I searched for “Gingerbread Golem” precedents and came up with Dungeons & Dragons and Minecraft references, but no actual ironic cookie. So I had to make one.
EDIT (3 days later…):
Heavens. I didn’t think anyone (else) would actually want to MAKE these, so this post wasn’t a DIY, but I just received a plaintive picture of a golem gone wrong.
So, I offer some tips:
First, my post photo is pre-oven. And second, results will vary.
DOUGH: Pick a recipe known for not puffing up, and for being hard-wearing. Clues in the description will be: cannot be over-worked, indestructible for kids, etc. My favorite recipe is from Saint Martha.
Roll only 1/8 inch thick so there will be less dough to puff. Puff = no detail.
The bigger the gingerbread man cutter, the easier to make and see the letters.
LETTERS: Make letter impressions as deep as you can manage, because these too will puff a bit. Use a toothpick. Even a rubber stamp might need some deepening.
LETTER COLOR: Any color added pre-oven will probably not look the same post-oven, but do a few to test. For best results, add color to the impressions after the golem has cooled.
Food-safe markers are the easiest way to draw fine lines on smooth food, but careful people can use toothpicks dipped in dye.